10 Quotes That Shape My Ideas About Success


10. It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.  –Ann Landers

Think about success as a series of skills, not a destination. Teaching your children (and having for yourself) skills like perseverance, having a growth mindset, being a life long learner, treating others with respect and empathy and following their passions are great starts to helping your child be successful.

9. In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure. –Bill Cosby.

Fear is the largest barrier between achieving your goals and staying where you are. We are afraid to commit. We are afraid others will laugh at us. We are afraid we don’t have what it takes. But when we cross that line from deciding our goal is larger and more important than what terrifies us, we take a critical step toward our goals.

8. “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” -Apple, “Think Different”

Yes, it’s a commercial. And maybe it’s a little cheesy. So what? I still like it. In fact, like it so much that I have a canvas of this quote on the wall of my room so I can see it each morning. Being a little crazy drives success.

7. “Success must be seen as the athlete exceeding her own goals rather than surpassing the performance of others.”  –Unknown

Growing up I had a poster with this quote hanging among the hundred or so gymnastics posters I had cut out from every magazine I could get my hands on. And it was a good thing: I was a mediocre gymnast at best. If I had not adopted this attitude, I would have dropped out of the sport long before I discovered just how much I loved it. Yes, some might see this quote as a cop out to applaud average performance. But I don’t. In business I have learned that having this attitude can propel you light years ahead of the competition. When you ignore the standards of others, holding yourself to your standards, you also allow for the opportunity to do things no one else has ever done.

6. “To be successful you must accept all challenges that come your way. You can’t just accept the ones you like.” –Mike Gafka

Committing to a path of success means committing to the entire journey, not just the part that you like. If you are a business owner, it means doing the accounting, the management, the customer service or whatever function you most distain (at least until you can afford to hire out that part!). If you are a gymnast it means doing the conditioning and flexibility work and the ballet, not just bouncing on trampoline and learning fun skills.

5. “Successful people do the things unsuccessful people don’t want to do.” —Unknown

Another dimension of accepting all the challenges is this very simple yet profound quote. It isn’t that successful people are unduly brave or have some magical gift of an incredible work ethic. Instead they hone these qualities by doing the things other’s don’t want to do like getting up early, working late, risking their money, putting their idea on stage for others to criticize, and allowing the possibility that they will fail. Successful people don’t want to do these things either, they just do them anyway.

4. Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. –Albert Einstein

If I didn’t already know that Einstein was a genus, this quote would convince me. Being of value creates success faster than trying to earn a quick dollar or grabbing a spotlight. Fill a need of others better than anyone else and success is the natural by-product.

3. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you have imagined. –Henry David Thoreau

Successful people dream and then they do. They move toward the life they want, one that they create as they go along.

2. There are no traffic jams along the extra mile. –Roger Staubach

The six time pro-bowler who has a Heisman and two Superbowl rings is most certainly correct. Bonus: the line at Starbucks is considerably shorter at 4:45am for those who get out of bed and get to work.

1. Fall seven times and stand up eight. –Japanese Proverb

This one says it all. As long as we stand up one more time than we fall down, success is ours.

What do you think? Do you have a favorite quote about success?